Good Retirement Planning Leaves Wives in Better Financial Shape

2:00 pm Uncategorized

An article last week on CBS Moneywatch.com says that, on average, wives outlive their husbands by 5-10 years.  Unfortunately, the rate of poverty for women over the age of 65 is more than 12 percent, significantly higher than for men in the same age group.

The main reason for this is that many of the couples’ assets will be spent in the husband’s declining years on medical bills and long-term care, leaving little to take care of the wife following her husband’s death.

What to do?  Here are some tips from the article:

  • Figure out how much retirement savings you need to generate a reliable lifetime income.
  • Whoever has the higher earnings history (usually the husband) can max out their Social Security benefits by delaying the start date as long as possible.
  • Make 401(k) accounts and retirement savings last as long as one of you is still living.
  • Have a strategy for addressing long-term care expenses.
  • If the husband has a substantial benefit from a pension plan, take the joint and survivor annuity — most retirees outlive their lump sum payments.
  • Try to stay in good shape by practicing healthy habits.
  • Try to retire without a lot of debt – in particular, try to pay off your mortgage before you retire.

Here’s a final tip:  consult with a California retirement planning attorney to ensure you plan properly for the retirement you want.

Help is available to you by contacting your Southern California financial planning experts today.

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